Convention 2003

2003 Convention || Overview | Registration | Schedule | Getting There | Details || Future | Past

Each spring, an Azalea Society chapter or a group of interested persons hosts a convention, and invites all the members to attend. Each convention gives you a chance to see some public and private gardens in that area, hear talks and see slide shows about azaleas, renew old friendships and make new ones, buy good azaleas at good prices, and participate in the annual business meeting and election of officers. Think of the conventions as Azalea Society birthday parties.

Our upcoming convention is in Chattanooga, Tennessee during May 1-4, 2003. See native azaleas around Chattanooga, see public and private gardens with azaleas, rhododendrons and wildflowers, hear talks about natives and other azaleas, renew old friendships and make new ones, buy great azaleas at great prices, and enjoy some good food.
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Tours are :

  • Friday Tour A – Signal Mountain garden tours; Reflection Riding Arboretum (lunch)           Alternate Tour (first 20 persons) – Southern Belle River Cruise (deli lunch), River Walk, Museums, Choo Choo Gardens, Shopping
  • Saturday Tour B – Valley garden tours; Lookout Mountain Commons (lunch)           Alternate Tour (first 20 persons) – Tennessee Aquarium, River Walk, Museums, Choo Choo Gardens, Shopping (lunch on your own)
  • pre- and post-convention garden tours, on your own

Each tour is all day long. While most of the gardens are completely wheelchair-accessible, the buses are not. Maps and driving directions will be available if you need to follow the buses in a private car to accommodate a wheelchair.

Banquet and National Meeting is Saturday evening.

Plants, lots of them, will be on sale — azaleas, both evergreen and deciduous, as well as 30 species of wildflowers, 12 species of ferns, 11 species of trilliums, and some native shrubs that make good companion plants — all of them nursery-propagated.

Housing is in our convention headquarters, the Clarion Hotel.

Meals are on your own, at the Clarion Hotel and other local restaurants. except for the banquet, the garden tours, and the Southern Belle River cruise.

Emergency contact number during the convention is 423-756-6950, which is the Clarion Hotel — just mention the person you wish to contact, and that they are attending the Azalea Convention.

Ready to go? See below!



May 1-4, 2003 (Thursday noon-Sunday noon)


Chattanooga Clarion Hotel
407 Chestnut Street
Chattanooga, TN 37402


1. Print the registration form, and fill it out completely.

2. Mail it with your check or money order payable to ASA Convention to

Denise Stelloh, Convention Registrar
65 Sierra Drive
Hendersonville NC 28739

Telephone: 1-828-697-9959


Registration refunds are given in full before April 17, 2003, 50% from April 18 to April 31, 2003, and not at all after April 31, 2003.

Changes can be made 24 hours before the tour or other activity, as long as there is room. We also reserve the right to change the tour itineraries, based on need and space availability.

3. Call the Clarion Hotel at 423-752-6944 or email Kathy McDowell to make your hotel reservations. Mention the Azalea Convention to get our special $79 room rate (for 1 to 4 persons in the room), in effect from April 28 through May 7.

Last minute? Call or e-mail Denise, and bring your filled out form with you to the hotel.
Getting There

Flying: The Chattanooga Metropolitan airport (CHA), served by many major airlines, is located off 153 just north of I-75, about 10 miles from the hotel. Taxi and shuttle service is available between the airport and the hotel.

Driving: Chattanooga is in southeastern Tennessee, near the borders of Alabama, Georgia and North Carolina. It is served by I-75 from the southeast (Atlanta) and northeast (Knoxville), by I-24 from the northwest (Nashville) and I-59 from the southwest (Birmingham).

The Clarion Hotel is centrally located in the Riverfront District:

– from Nashville, take I-24E to US 27N, then exit 1C (4th Street), and turn right on 4th to the hotel.
– from Atlanta, take I-75N to I-24W and follow the directions above.
– from Birmingham, take I-59N to I-24E and follow the directions above.
– from Knoxville, take I-75S to I-24W and follow the directions above.

The hotel is within walking distance of the Tennessee Aquarium, Bell South Park, Creative Discovery Museum and 3-D IMAX Theatre. There is a free public shuttle service in downtown Chattanooga serving these and many other attractions.

Thursday, May 1, 2003
 9:00 am – 9:00 pm Registration Open
Lunch on your own
 1:00 pm – 7:00 pm Plant Sale – Chattanooga Ballroom C
 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm ASA Board of Directors Meeting – Alabama Room of South Hall
Dinner on your own
 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm Social Hour / Cash Bar – Chattanooga Ballroom A & B
 7:15 pm – 7:30 pm Convention Opening/Welcoming Remarks
 7:30 pm – 8:15 pm Dr. Joe Coleman – The Palette of Kurume Azaleas: Neglected Treasures
 8:15 pm – 9:00 pm Dave Hopkins – Reflection Riding Arboretum & Botanical Garden – An Overview
Friday, May 2, 2003
Breakfast on your own
 8:00 am – 4:30 pm Tours
Tour A – Valley private gardens; Reflection Riding Arboretum (lunch)
Alternate – Southern Bell River Cruise (deli lunch), River Walk, Museums, Choo Choo Gardens, Shopping
Dinner on your own
 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm Social Hour / Cash Bar – Chattanooga Ballroom A & B
 7:15 pm – 7:30 pm Session Opening/Announcements
 7:30 pm – 8:15 pm Judy Lowe – Native Plants for the Azalea Gardener
 8:15 pm – 9:00 pm Tijs Huisman – European Evergreen Hybrid Azaleas
Saturday, May 3, 2003
Breakfast on your own
 8:00 am – 4:30 pm Tours:
Tour B – Signal Mountain private gardens; Lookout Mountain Commons (lunch)
Alternate – Tennessee Aquarium, River Walk, Museums, Choo Choo Gardens, Shopping (lunch on your own)
 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm Social Hour / Cash Bar – Chattanooga Ballroom A & B
 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm Banquet and National Meeting
 8:00 pm – 8:45 pm Drawing and Plant Auction
 8:45 pm Keynote Presentation: Don Shadow – New Plant Introductions from Japan
Sunday, May 4, 2003
Breakfast on your own
 7:00 am – 10:00 am Plant Sales — Last Chance!
 8:00 am – 10:00 am ASA Board of Directors Meeting – Alabama Room of South Hall
 8:00 am – 12 noon Roundtable – Azalea Breeding and Growing
 11:00 am Check-out Time
  —Goodbye and have a safe journey home—


Cumberland Spring – 25-Year Celebration of the ASA – 2003 Chattanooga Convention Preview

We are delighted to welcome you to Chattanooga, Tennessee, May 1-4 for our 2003 Convention and National Meeting — and our Society’s 25th anniversary! We want you to enjoy your visit and have a refreshing time, meeting old friends and making new ones, while experiencing a relaxing group of tours to private and public gardens. With Cumberland Spring as our 25th anniversary theme, you will have the opportunity to hear and meet speakers with diverse programs about azaleas, wildflowers, and native plants.

The Chattanooga Clarion, our convention hotel, is conveniently located in the central business district of Chattanooga. It is within easy walking distance of many attractions, restaurants, and shopping venues, and is 300 feet from a kiosk for a free shuttle bus serving the many attractions in the downtown district. The hotel will cater our banquet and lunches, and has a 120 seat restaurant if you wish to eat in the hotel.

On Friday and Saturday we will be touring private and public gardens, both new and old, and most are only 30 minutes apart by bus. Restrooms will not be available at all stops.


Friday Tour A: Valley Gardens

Vernon Carpenter garden – is a testament to hard work, with hundreds of beautifully grown rhododendrons, azaleas and wildflowers in a hard, cherty soil copiously amended with many loads of compost from the City of Chattanooga. The plants are in a woodland setting of mature oaks and hickories, set off by a serpentine stone wall from the lawn.
Craig Walker garden – a well known local garden. It has been featured in newspaper articles and is also on the Joe Johnson Food Bank Garden Tour in June, a highlight each year of regional gardeners.
Joe and LaShon Schild garden – the smallest, less than one acre, garden on our tour, but featuring exquisite examples of American and Asian species azaleas, evergreen azaleas, rhododendrons, kalmia, and Joe’s own hybrid azaleas – over 1500 in all – along with wildflowers and ferns tucked away in any available spaces, and even a nursery area along the back 100′ of the property!
Reflection Riding Arboretum and Botanical Garden – a 300 acre arboretum just 10 minutes from downtown Chattanooga. We will park at the Humphreys House for lunch, and tour the 3.5 miles of roads in groups, stopping at the Philp Memorial Garden with native azaleas and rhododendrons, the Wildflower Cove with wildflowers and native R. maximum, the Holsomback Garden of hybrid rhododendrons and azaleas, and the adjoining site of the planned Glenn Dale Azalea Resource Collection.

Friday Alternate: Chattanooga Downtown (first 20 persons)

  • River Walk, from Ross’s Landing to the Bluff View Art District museums, shops and restaurants
  • 11:30 am – 1 pm Southern Belle riverboat cruise on the Tennessee River, deluxe deli lunch
  • Choo Choo Hotel Gardens, Warehouse Row shopping


Saturday Tour B: Signal Mountain Gardens

Frances Jones garden – with a commanding view of the Tennessee River valley, this well designed immaculate garden features native plants, wildflowers, ferns and exotics, many of them labeled for easy reference. The plants are set off nicely by a number of sculptures, a few whimsies, and a pergola and gazebo.
Jimmy & Ilona Wooten garden – covering several acres of woodland and large open expanses, this carefully designed collector’s garden connects their log home to the woodland with rhododendrons, azaleas and wildflowers, and continues with perennial beds and an herb garden. They share a passion for purple, and have paid attention to the color palette as well as the garden contours and the shade and moisture needs of their many plants.
Robert J. Enck garden – is a mature (1954) garden covering several acres of woodland and open areas, featuring very large hybrid rhododendrons interspersed with Bob’s own hybrids, as well as a wildflower cove, and Japanese maples, viburnums, magnolias and even some unusual conifers.
Lookout Mountain Commons – a public park on top of Lookout Mountain where we will have our lunch. The has with ball fields, tennis courts, and Bobbie’s Walk, a one-mile nature trail meandering among good examples of native azaleas, rhododendrons, wildflowers and other plants, many of them identified on trail maps that will be available.

Saturday Alternate: Chattanooga Downtown (first 20 persons)

  • Tennessee Aquarium tour
  • River Walk, from Ross’s Landing to the Bluff View Art District museums, shops and restaurants
  • Choo Choo Hotel Gardens

Annual Meeting immediately after our banquet on Saturday evening, with topics including:

  • 25th Anniversary Celebration
  • Election of officers
  • Best Azalean article award

For more information, contact Joe Schild at 1-423-842-9686,

see wild azaleas:
some will be in bloom for you…
near Chattanooga.

Future Conventions

Scheduled future conventions include

When  Where Contact Chapter
2004 Annapolis MD Carol Segree Ben Morrison chapter
2005 Michigan John Migas new chapter being formed
2006 Bethesda MD Bill Miller Brookside Gardens Chapter

Past Conventions
The past Azalea Society conventions have been:

When  Where Who
1979 Washington DC Brookside Gardens
1980 Chevy Chase MD Brookside Gardens
1981 Wheaton MD Brookside Gardens
1982 Richmond VA Richmond
1983 Chevy Chase MD Brookside Gardens
1984 Fredericksburg VA Northern Virginia
1985 Mobile AL Mobile
1986 Morristown NJ Mal Clark and friends
1987 Portland OR Northwest (joint with ARS)
1988 Bethesda MD Brookside Gardens
1989 Hendersonville NC Mal Clark and friends
1990 Northern VA Northern Virginia
1991 New Orleans LA Louisiana
1992 Solomons MD Ben Morrison
1993 Dallas TX Dallas
1994 Richmond VA Richmond
1995 Rockville MD Brookside Gardens
1996 Dallas TX Dallas
1997 Atlanta GA Oconee
1998 McLean VA Northern Virginia
1999 Mobile AL Louisiana
2000 Charleston SC Louisiana